The Mariners have signed utilityman Ty Kelly to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League (Twitter link). Kelly had signed with the Ducks in April but will now return to affiliated ball. He’s been assigned to Triple-A Tacoma.
Kelly, 32, announced his retirement from professional baseball in August 2019. He sat out the 2020 season but is making a comeback attempt after more than a year and a half away. Kelly’s MLB time to this point has been bookended by stints with the Mets in 2016 and 2018, although his most extensive playing time came with the 2017 Phillies. Altogether, he’s taken 188 plate appearances at the highest level, slashing .203/.288/.323. Kelly carries a much better .268/.368/.382 mark in parts of eight seasons at Triple-A and has experience all around the diamond.
The Mariners also signed southpaw Williams Jerez to a minors deal, per his transactions log at MLB.com. He’s also been assigned to Triple-A. Jerez tossed 25 1/3 innings across 29 major league relief appearances for the Angels, Giants and Pirates from 2018-19. He didn’t find much success at the MLB level, working to a 5.33 ERA/5.02 SIERA. Jerez has been better in Triple-A, where he’s tossed 123 2/3 frames of 4.15 ERA ball with solid strikeout and walk rates (27.1% and 8.9%, respectively).
Kelly and Jerez are joined on the Rainiers active roster by longtime big leaguer Héctor Santiago. The veteran lefty signed with Seattle earlier this month and has already made a pair of starts for Tacoma, working nine innings of four-run ball with a whopping 16 strikeouts and five walks. Santiago was a mainstay in big league rotations for much of the last decade, throwing 100-plus innings in five different seasons. He didn’t pitch last year after being released by the Tigers in July. Santiago offers an experienced depth option for a Seattle club relying on quite a few young arms at the major league level right now.